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Monday, August 13, 2007

My Last Trip

We had a simply awesome time! Two whole days just for us. That's the first time ever, we've had our own time. Without work, without computers, without errands to run for others, without calls coming in. Just 56 hours of time for us. My travel time took almost the same amount of hours and had a few pretty hairy connection moments, but all I'm saying is that I could have spent 112 hours on the travel alone and still been the happiest woman on the planet to get those 56 uninterrupted hours with the love of my life.

On the Sunday, we visited the Memorial. What an incredibly special place. The stillness, the absolute silence was very moving. Despite the tragedy, there was a feeling of serenity surrounding us. The pics were taken by my love, but I'll let Wikipedia tell us about each feature.

The Gates of Time:
Monumental twin bronze gates frame the moment of destruction - 9:02 - and mark the formal entrances to the Outdoor Memorial. 9:01, found on the eastern gate, represents the last moments of peace, while its opposite on the western gate, 9:03, represents the first moments of recovery. Both time stamps are inscribed on the interior of the monument, facing each other and the Reflecting Pool.

The outside of each gate bears this inscription:
We come here to remember those who were killed,
Those who survived and those changed forever.
May all who leave here know the impact of violence.
May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.

Reflecting Pool:
A thin layer of water flowing over polished black granite, the Reflecting Pool runs east to west down the center of the Memorial on what was once Fifth Street. Visitors who see their reflection in the reflecting pool are supposed to see "a face of a person changed by domestic terrorism."

Field of Empty Chairs:
168 empty chairs hand-crafted from glass, bronze, and stone represent those who lost their lives in the tragedy. A bombing victim's name is etched in the glass base of each chair. The chairs represent the empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victim's family.

The chairs are arranged in nine rows symbolizing the nine floors of the building, and each person's chair is on the row (or the floor) on which the person worked or was visiting when the bomb went off. The chairs are also grouped according to the blast pattern, with the most chairs nearest the most heavily damaged portion of the building. The westernmost column of five chairs represents the five people who died but were not in the Murrah Building when the bomb went off (two in the Water Resources Board building, one in the Athenian Building, one outside near the building, and one rescuer).

The 19 smaller chairs represent the children killed in the bombing. Three unborn children died along with their mothers, and they are listed on their mothers' chairs beneath their mothers' names.

The Survivor Tree:
The inscription around the inside of the deck wall around the Survivor Tree reads:
The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.

And Jesus Wept:

On a corner adjacent to the memorial is a sculpture of Jesus weeping erected by St. Joseph's Catholic Church. St. Joseph's, one of the first brick and mortar churches in the city, was almost completely destroyed by the blast. The statue is not part of the memorial itself but is popular with visitors nonetheless.

I think the most unusual part of our trip was sampling a local delicacy, lamb fries. Not for the faint-hearted. An odd texture and probably not something I'll repeat, but at least we tried them!

It was a superb trip, despite United being three hours late out of San Francisco, making me miss my Denver connection and robbing us of over three hours together. But my, oh my, were we glad to see each other! Over and over again (swoons).


D said...

Fiona - It sounds like an amazing place and one definitely to put on the must visit list next time I get Stateside.

LePhare said...

Sounds like a most unusual place, a place of peace, a place for thought.

As for the 'lamb fries', just be careful what you put in your mouth in future. I recommend caution.

Hugs returned with thanks.

Fiona said...

D - I can definitely say it's now on the list of places that I felt in my soul.

Ian - I'm always cautious. But equally curious ;)

George said...

Sounds live a beautiful weekend Fi ... I do hope you don't have to rely on a visit here, a visit there for too much longer

Fiona said...

George - hopefully not for too much longer, though every moment I spend with him is special :)

anna said...

That memorial sounds just amazing. I got goosebumps reading about it.

Nish said...

Well, Fi, seems as though you were merely an hour away from me. I thought I smelled some sexy in the air! The memorial is a powerful experience and I am glad you had the chance to stop by and see it.

As always, glad you and your love made some new memories together. How DOES love go with everything?! Fantastic, isn't it?


Fiona said...

Nish!! I didn't realise until I got back, just how close I was to you and Sal!!

Love does definitely go with everything. In fact it magnifies the experience of everything :):):)

Anonymous said...

I was just there in June, OKC, with a friend. It was my second time and it was still as powerful as ever.

Fiona said...

CJ - it really does have a sensation about it. Places can do that, absorb and slowly give back very real feelings.


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